Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Welcome friends, to a winter wonderland! Hn! We all thought we were in for an early spring, but Mother Nature had other ideas; we’re in for a late winter! 

Yes, for the last couple of days severe winter storms have been raging all over the Northeastern and Central parts of North America. We seem to be rather lucky in my li’l neck of the woods with only a few inches, but parts of the U.S have two to three feet of snow, and the winds have been constantly howling. 

Now that’s why I don’t like to be in this country for March; the winds always seem to be colder and more powerful in March. And it doesn’t seem to be over yet. But that’s what you get for living in these northern climes. 

Anyway, here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to bring us in from the cold to God’s warm and everlasting LOVE. (smile) It’s titled ‘For Renewal.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life, Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better than making a commitment to Jesus for the first time, or renewing it for the umpteenth time! The important thing is that we make a commitment to live the way Jesus wants us to live, for that’s the only wise and sensible way to live this earthly life. 

Lucifer and his evil world offer lots of pretty baubles, bangles and fine looking things, but they are only façades, they have no real substance and only last for a short while, and they can also get stolen. 

On the other hand Jesus offers eternal stuff, stuff with real substance and value, which will last for eternity, and there are no thieves in heaven. Glory Be!  

That brings us to our Bit, a seminal teaching of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

That’s exactly what we were just talking about friends. Concentrating on storing up earthly treasures does not bring true joy and happiness, for eventually you will die and leave it all behind for someone else to dissipate. 

Bruh Paul said it to Timothy thus: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim.6:7) 

Now that doesn’t mean we should not save or purchase nice things and try to live a comfortable earthly life. The problem occurs when we let that be the main focus of our lives, when we idolize the things of this world rather than the things of heaven. 

And Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will you heart be also.’ (Matt.6:20-21) 

Oh friends, that last sentence is indeed a mighty one! Gospel truth indeed! For wherever our treasure is stored that’s where our hearts will be leaning and looking towards. You’ll notice that when we concentrate on storing up earthly treasures our hearts are constantly aimed at the earthly stuff. 

However, if we concentrate on storing up heavenly rewards, then we spend most of our time concentrating on those things that bring heavenly benefits. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation from the scholars. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed towards treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. 

The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as we’ve already said accumulation of earthly things should not be our main focus of this life, but rather the stocking up of rewards in heaven through godly service down here on earth. 

And anyway, when you get to heaven, all the stuff you sought down here either won’t be necessary, or they will be of better quality than the shoddy stuff we have down here. (smile) 

Now listen to these telling words from the sons of Korah, from Psalm 49 – Trust in God, not wealth. ‘Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend with him.’ (Ps.49:16-17) And that’s the ultimate truth friends! 

Now let’s go home pondering all that, while invoking our Wednesday Wail with much enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, though we’re going through storms in our lives, both physical and emotional, we’re still glad to be alive and are looking forward to a glorious future with our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now that’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Jesus…can we find true joy and security for ever…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2016 Proverbs 8:17.

Proverbs 8:17.   I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) shall find me.

Well friends, it’s that day we all clamour for; Friday, because it means the end of the workweek and the start of the weekend. And for those of us living in this beautiful country of Canada it was a short week because of our Thanksgiving celebrations. 

But yuh know what, whether we work five, four, or even three days a week, we’ll still cry out on a Friday: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! No more slave driver looking over mih shoulder. I can do as I please. Eat and drink what I want, when I want. 

Don’t have to ask permission to go to the loo, or have anybody looking to see how often I go and how long I stay, as though I’m some little short pants schoolboy. Chuh! 

The weekend is MINE! Mine to do as I please! And the wicked and greedy slave master and them be damned! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend! Let’s go and party now!’ 

And believe me friends, in this modern day and age, sadly, there are still work places that will cause that kind of cry to be echoed by the employees. But that still doesn’t give us the right to just dissipate and waste the weekend in riotous, ungodly living. 

We need balance in our lives if we are to live them successfully. And that’s what our Friday Chant seeks to help us do. So let’s chant it with sincerity and truth now nuh.

All together: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah mih people, that is a much better perspective, because if we keep on abusing the weekends, then have to go to work tired and grumpy, we’ll soon burn out and get sick and won’t be able to enjoy the weekends again. We’ll end up cutting off our nose to spite our face. 

That’s what happens when we overdo anything. Anyway, all I can do is give advice, we all have to make our own decisions as to how we live our lives, and remember we each have to bear the consequences too. 

And our Bit gives us some of the best advice possible in this fallen world. ‘I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) shall find me.’  

Cousin Sol is here talking about seeking wisdom, and we’ve seen in the past couple days the earthly benefits of seeking her, and also how God used her from the very beginning to create the universe. 

And we all know the scripture where James declares: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). 

For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Yes my fellow believers, it’s important that when we come to God we’re not doubting, or sitting on the fence, ‘for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6b) 

Now here’s an interesting note from the scholars on verse 5 above, James’ declaration about going to God for wisdom. ‘1.5: This verse is not a blanket promise of wisdom for any situation. In the context of life’s trials, it probably speaks of a believer being granted (1) wisdom as to the reason for his trials and (2) wisdom to endure them.’ 

So I guess we can’t use this verse as the basis for general but rather particular wisdom. However, there’s also another side to wisdom; the wisdom of seeking Almighty God! 

When Jesus promised His disciples the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, He told them in no uncertain words. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments… He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him, and will manifest, (reveal, show) myself to him.’ (John 14:15,21) 

Yeh friends, it’s all about LOVE! And LOVE means being obedient and steadfast. Hear how John puts it in his first epistle. 

‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.’(1 John 2:3-6)  John spells it out loud and clear my people! 

And the scholars offer these comments. ‘2:3. John writes so that his readers may not sin (v.1). Now he sets forth a characteristic of genuine knowledge of God: obedience to His commandments. This is a major teaching of Jesus.’ 

‘2:5. Perfected is in the perfect tense. John refers to the decisive and enduring effect of the indwelling LOVE of God. But the test of knowing God’s LOVE is keeping His Word.’ 

Therefore friends, it all comes down to one word ‘OBEDIENCE!’ We can talk all we want about LOVING God, etc. etc, but it means absolutely nothing, unless we are walking in obedience to His commandments. 

So let’s seriously ponder all we’ve said today nuh, let’s search our hearts and see if we are truly walking in obedience to God’s Word. Obviously we won’t be perfect, but we can know if we’re on the right track. And if we’re not, then we certainly can ask the Lord for the strength and wisdom to get on the right track. Much LOVE!

…to be Christ-like…obedient as He was…should be each believer’s sincere goal…